A study conducted by Leger on behalf of Turo Canada, the car-sharing platform, reveals that while 83% of Canadians own or lease a vehicle, that same vehicle remains unused 95% of the year. So Canadian drivers have been driving a bit more since 2019, as the last Turo-commissioned study found that cars remained unused 96% of the time, which translated into 380 hours behind the wheel per year, compared to 400.6 hours in this new survey of more than 1,500 respondents aged 18 or older conducted last November.
With working from home gaining in popularity, it is increasingly normal that the hours spent behind the wheel are not very high, even though there is a slight increase noted in the study.
In Quebec, the numbers are very similar to the rest of Canada, with 84% of Quebecers owning or leasing a car, with an unused rate of 95.7%. Quebecers are therefore using their vehicles slightly less, a factor that is certainly related to the pandemic. In fact, 50% of respondents in la belle province said they are using their vehicles less frequently, while 18% say they are using them much less.
Despite this widespread non-use, 81% of Canadian respondents believe it is impossible for them not to own a car, a proportion that is 90% in Quebec. Convenience (31%), commuting (30%) and the desire for freedom (17%) are the reasons cited by survey respondents in Canada. In Quebec, the same three reasons were cited, but in different percentages: convenience (30%), commuting (26%) and desire for freedom (25%).
Turo also surveyed respondents about their use of a carsharing service in the past 18 months. Only 8% of Canadians have used a car-sharing service, while 6% of Quebecers have used this transportation alternative. On the other hand, 13% of respondents are open to the idea of giving up their car in favour of alternative modes of transportation (public transit, carpooling or carsharing), a proportion that melts like snow in Quebec with only 7% of Quebecers surveyed.
As for respondents’ interest in electric cars, 35% of Quebecers plan to buy or lease an electric vehicle, a significant difference from the rest of the country, which is 21%. The government rebates available in Quebec are certainly at the origin of this frankly higher interest. Conversely, 28% of Quebecers plan to purchase an internal combustion engine vehicle, compared to 42% of Canadians.
Adoption of electric technology is still slow, with 79% of respondents citing high cost (29%) and range (24%) as the main reasons for not buying one. According to the study 86% of Canadians have never driven an electric vehicle. However, 66% (67% in Quebec) said they would consider buying an electric vehicle if they had the opportunity to drive one for a few days before making a decision.
Turo points out that it currently has over 750 zero-emission vehicles on its Canadian platform.